Why are some bills of lading made out “TO ORDER” instead of bearing a particular consignee’s name and address?

To enable title in the goods to be transferred to a third party, e. g. a bank in the case of a letter of credit sale or an alternative buyer where the goods are to be sold in transit. 

(Some bulk cargoes are sold many times during a voyage. ) Title is passed by the holder stamping the back of the bill of lading “Deliver to the order of ” and adding a transferee’s name (called endorsement in full), or by stamping the back of the Bill with his company’s stamp and adding his signature, but without naming a specific transferee (called endorsement in blank; this makes the bill a “bearer document”). Title cannot be passed if, in the space on the front for the consignee’s details, a specific name and address is inserted without the additional words “… or to his order”.


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Written by Ship Inspection

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Why are some bills of lading made out to a specified consignee, but the words “OR TO THEIR ORDER” are added to the consignee’s details?

What will prevent a bill of lading from being a negotiable document of title?